This Hour: Latest Massachusetts news, sports, business and entertainment - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

This Hour: Latest Massachusetts news, sports, business and entertainment

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US Sen. Warren supports repealing state casino law

BOSTON (AP) - Anti-gambling activists are touting a major political boost from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren as their campaign to repeal the state's casino law heads into the final stretch.

The first-term Democrat said Monday following the Boston Labor Council's Labor Day breakfast that she'll likely vote in favor of repealing the law that opened the door for Las Vegas-style gambling in Massachusetts. On Tuesday, Repeal the Casino Deal hailed the comments as a "bold stand" by one of the state's most prominent politicians.

As a candidate in 2011, Warren opposed the decision to expand the state's gambling law to allow for up to three resort casinos and one slot parlor. Question 3 would repeal that law, effectively ending the state's licensing process before the first casino project can even open.


Where GOP candidates for governor stand on casinos

BOSTON (AP) - The future of casino gambling in Massachusetts has become a major topic of debate among the three Democrats and two Republicans seeking the gubernatorial nominations of their parties in the September 9th primaries.

A 2011 law opened the door for casinos in the state for the first time, allowing for up to three resort casinos and one slots parlor, but a question before voters on the November ballot calls for repealing that law.

Mark Fisher, a businessman and tea party member, opposes casinos and unlike his Republican primary opponent Charlie Baker, saying he plans to vote in November to repeal the state's 2011 gambling law.

Baker, the former head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, was the first candidate for governor to suggest the possibility of a single casino going forward even if Massachusetts voters repeal the gambling law in November.

Donald Berwick, a former federal health care administrator, is the only Democrat supporting repeal of the law that allows for up to three regional resort casinos and a single slots parlor in Massachusetts.


Gas drops by a penny per gallon in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) - Gasoline prices in Massachusetts continue to decline, although more slowly than they have been.

Triple A Southern New England reports Tuesday that a gallon of self-serve, regular has fallen by a penny in the past week to $3.44.

That's 1 cent higher than the national average but 12 cents lower than a month ago. The current Bay State price is also 21 cents lower than at this time last year.

AAA found self-serve, regular selling for as low as $3.29 per gallon and as high as $3.89.


3 Massachusetts colleges sue state

BOSTON (AP) - Three Massachusetts colleges have sued the state Department of Revenue, claiming the agency unfairly denied them millions of dollars in tax credits for environmental cleanup work done on contaminated properties.

In a complaint filed this month in Superior Court, Northeastern University, Boston University, and Wellesley College said the state essentially changed its own rules when it rejected the schools' applications for the credit.

The state agency said it had no comment.

The Boston Globe reports that the lawsuit centers on the state's Brownfields Tax Incentive program, which offers tax credits to property owners who perform environmental cleanup work on former commercial and industrial properties left contaminated by the previous occupants.

The schools applied in late 2012 and early 2013, claiming they deserve credit for work started before 2006.


Court: Statements in fatal fire wrongly admitted

BOSTON (AP) - The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that prosecutors must reduce a first-degree murder conviction or grant a new trial to a woman who set a fire that killed a mother of four.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday upheld Chiteara (shuh-TEE'-ruh) Thomas' conviction for arson, but said her first-degree murder conviction cannot stand.

Prosecutors said Thomas used a cigarette lighter to start the 2006 fire after a dispute with a first-floor tenant. A woman who lived on the third floor was killed, and several other people were injured.

In her appeal, Thomas argued that the judge at her trial should have suppressed statements she made to police. The high court agreed, finding that police did not scrupulously honor her request to stop questioning until she had a lawyer.

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